Victims of an accident with an impaired driver face the extra burden of knowing that the collision could have been avoided had the driver not gotten behind the wheel impaired. This adds to the pain and anguish that typically accompanies a DUI injury accident.
The law takes this pain and anguish into account when the victim makes a claim against the driver for compensation. Sometimes, however, the injured person is the passenger in the car driven by the impaired driver. He or she might know the driver, and might be also impaired. So what does the law say about those circumstances?
Passenger Injured in DUI Crash in Merced County
Police responded to a crash involving a single vehicle in the southbound lane of Highway 99 just north of Shanks Road in Merced County on Friday. The accident happened around 10 p.m. when the car left the road at an undetermined rate of speed and hit a tree that was just off the shoulder of the road.
Both the driver and the passenger were seriously injured and transported to a local hospital for treatment. Police have arrested the driver on suspicion of DUI, and are still investigating the incident.
Can an Impaired Passenger get Compensation?
Although we have no idea if the passenger in the above-referenced accident was impaired, many times a victim passenger is reluctant to make a personal injury claim against the driver. Sometimes this is because they are friends, and other times it’s because they wrongly believe that they are not entitled to compensation if they were just a passenger and was also intoxicated.
However, the law requires that anyone who negligently causes a crash is held financially responsible for all injuries and damages that resulted from that accident. This includes any passengers of the car regardless of whether the passenger was intoxicated or not.
This means that if someone was out with friends and everyone was intoxicated and the driver got into a crash, that even though it’s not smart to get in a car driven by someone who is intoxicated, it still doesn’t get the driver off the hook for your injuries.
Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer.
After an accident involving a serious injury in the Central Valley, contact attorney Martin Gasparian for a free consultation and case evaluation. Mr. Gasparian takes a hands-on approach to every case. He believes that every client should work directly with their lawyer, get honest advice and personalized attention to detail their case deserves.